When referring to intimate body parts, the best idea is to use the accurate names of the body parts when talking with children so they know there are formal words for these body parts and so they don’t always use slang and/or derogatory words for their and other’s body parts. I generally practice a mix such as penis and willy and breasts or boobies.
This discussion on who can touch my body and where, should be continuous, open and ideally, be freely discussed as part of your conversations at home
This resource for young children, aged 3-5 year olds addresses private parts and consent.
‘Pantosaurus’ song on YouTube
Parents often wonder why their children don’t want to come and speak to them when they are in their teens about boyfriends, girlfriends, sex, porn etc. If there has never been a space created for unjudgmental conversations about sex and intimacy related topics then they don’t know how to do it or what to say because they have never done it before. The adult must create that space by talking about these things early and communicating to the child that they are relaxed with the topics; they don’t get embarrassed; and they won’t judge them and make them feel shame around these topics. The adult must model what they want to see in their children.
These topics make so many adults nervous and embarrassed, however not discussing them leaves our young people vulnerable and disempowered in a highly sexualised world. They can get information elsewhere but evidence tells us that alternative sources include school-based teaching which is rarely adequate; their friends, the Internet and pornography. Unreliable sources means unreliable information which can lead to unpleasant and non-consenting or coercive intimate experiences which can have a long lasting effect on their sexual development and mental health. These undesirable outcomes can be minimised or avoided by conversations initiated by the adults who love and care for them.
Talk soon-talk often is an excellent tool to support parents having conversations with their children about sex and relationships between the ages of 0 to 18.
Let’s Talk About It
Do you find it difficult to have these conversations with your kids?